Following our recent busy schedules of traveling, moving and both of us recovering from nasty bouts with the flu, we are celebrating Easter with a quiet brunch for two. Poached eggs over a sweet and Yukon potato hash with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce, hot lattes and a slice of Southern Plantation cake followed by a hike in the mountains is how we will be spending the day.
Keeping it simple feels good to us right now. With the snow almost all melted, longer days, deer in our yard grazing on tender spring greens and our funny looking black squirrels who are finally coming down from the trees, we feel the warmth of spring washing over us.
Wishing you all a very happy and blessed holiday.
Adapted from the KATELAND PLANTATION LEMON CAKE (From the BEST OF LOUISIANA COOKBOOK)
PREPARING THE PAN:
2 tablespoons very soft butter
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
FOR THE CAKE BATTER:
3 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound plus 4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
FOR THE LEMON GLAZE:
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
TO PREPARE THE PAN:
Spread the 2 tablespoons soft butter evenly in a 10-inch tube pan and dust with bread crumbs.
TO MAKE THE CAKE:
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Beat butter, 2 1/2 cups sugar, eggs and lemon peel at high speed for 3 minutes.
Stir in by hand flour mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition until batter is smooth. Spoon carefully into prepared pan, smooth the top.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours or until top springs back when lightly pressed with finger tips. Loosen cake at tube edge; turn out onto wire rack.
TO GLAZE THE CAKE:
Combine the 2/3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, just until the sugar is dissolved. Brush some of the glaze onto the sides of the hot cake, then drizzle the remaining glaze evenly over the top. Cool. Freezes well.
I also poked holes through the top of the cake with a long skewer before brushing the syrup on to allow the syrup to seep through the cake.
Once the cake has cooled, using a serrated knife cut the cake into two layers.
3 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mixed berries, sliced (I always use Driscoll’s organic berries)
1-2 cups whole berries
Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff and then spoon half of the cream on the first layer. Scatter with the sliced berries.
Place the top layer over the cream and berries and then spoon the rest of the cream on top. Arrange the whole berries on top of the whipped cream. Keep chilled in the fridge until serving time.
Here are some other holiday brunch suggestions: